Delhi: Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung on Monday convened a high-level meeting as the air quality deteriorated further in the national capital.
According to news agency ANI, the meeting was attended by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Police Chief and Transport Minister and other government officials.
During the meeting, the issue of deteriorating air quality post Diwali celebrations and the steps needed to check the capital from fast turning into a gas chamber was discussed.
As a precautionary measure, the Delhi government today suspended all excavation, back filling and concrete dismantling works in view of thick smog prevailing in the city.
Delhi residents today woke up to a thick blanket of smog hovering over the sky as the air quality deteriorated sharply overnight in the capital, triggering warnings that even healthy people were at risk of respiratory problems.
Angered with the rising pollution, a large number of protesters wearing masks took to the streets in Delhi on Sunday of as the city remained blanketed under a cloud of toxic smoke that has lingered for a week and sparked anger at the government’s slow response.
The Arvind Kejriwal government has, meanwhile, ordered thousands of schools to remain shut for three days till the air quality improves in the capital. The thick layer of smog also led to the cancellation of Ranji Trophy match cancelled.
Delhi residents have been advised to stay inside as the air pollution crisis in the city and the surrounding metropolitan region – deemed an “emergency situation” by the environment minister on Saturday – stretched into its seventh day.
Patients with breathing problems inundated hospitals and doctor’s clinics, and residents waited in line to buy pricey face masks – which often sold out.
The New Delhi Municipal Council also began sprinkling of water using jet pressure pump technique to settle dust in order to check air pollution.
While blame game continued over the Delhi air menace with the Centre rejecting Delhi government’s claim that the major reason behind the smog is farm fire in Punjab and Haryana.
Speaking to the media after he chaired a meeting of environment ministers of Delhi and its neighbouring states, Union Minister Anil Dave said, “We must understand that 80% of the problem is due to local factors, only 20% is due to neighbouring states.”
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court today said that it will hear a plea on the alarming state of air pollution in Delhi as it was told that it had, in the past, issued several directions but their effective implementation and enforcement was lacking.
A bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice L Nageswara Rao agreed to hear the matter on Tuesday after Sunita Narayan of Centre for Science and Environment told the court that there was no effective implementation of the directions issued by the apex court last year.